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Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, [14] February [1874]

Dear John Burroughs,

I enclose you an article from the Nation of Jan. 29. How will the MS. article I have scratched off, do, in the main, as an answer to it? (to help keep the pot a-boiling.) Do you feel like making up an article out of said MS—adding or excising what you see fit—signing your name to it—& sending to Mr. Nation man?2


  • 1. This letter's envelope bears the address, "John Burroughs, | Wallkill Bank | Middletown | New York." It is postmarked, "Camden | Feb | 14 | N.J." [back]
  • 2. In a review of Joaquin Miller's Songs of the Sunlands in the Nation on January 29, 1874, an anonymous writer sharply criticized Walt Whitman's catalogs, mystic raptures, and lack of restraint. On February 14, 1874, Whitman sent a manuscript entitled "Is Walt Whitman's Poetry Poetical?" to John Burroughs, who was to send it to the editor of the magazine. If Burroughs submitted the essay, it was not published. It is reprinted in Clara Barrus, Whitman and Burroughs—Comrades (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1931), 107–110. [back]
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